RN number, What s It? And Do I Need It?

RN number, What s It? And Do I Need It?

You have probably noticed it on some garments that you bought.

It i a number, usually somewhere on the care labels, most likely with the letters RN# before it. As in the picture below.

An RN number or registered identification number is a number issued by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), upon request, to a business residing in the U.S. and engaged in the manufacture, importing, distribution, or sale of textile, wool, or fur products.  

Offshore or Domestic Apparel Manufacturing?

Offshore or Domestic Apparel Manufacturing?

Deciding whether to produce your fashion product offshore or domestically goes beyond the reasons of cost and number of units you will need to produce.

As a matter of fact it's a decision that will impact how your business is set up and operates to best fit that scenario, re; what kind of people/services you should hire and even the details of your designs.

4 Things That Any Fashion Brand Can Do To Be More Sustainable.

4 Things That Any Fashion Brand Can Do To Be More Sustainable.

Sustainability - The ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely. 

In the fashion industry we are constantly producing more and more goods. We use tons of natural resources, produce garments all over the world and all the while we are trying to keep up with ever changing trends and timely demands of the fashion industry. What is that impact? Most of the pollution in the garment industry comes from textiles. Water usage, finishing agents, and dyes. 20% of the worlds water pollution is due to the garment industry. How does it affect the community that work and live around these factories? As designers and consumers we have the responsibility to ask ourselves these questions and the ability to make change. 

How do you as a designer build a company with all of these things in mind and as a small brand be a part of this change?

Behind the Brand – The Story of PaperGirl

PaperGirl is a  brightly illustrated and inspiring made in NY childrenswear line that our company manged the development and production for this past year before launching their first collection in April 2015! 

The stunning original artwork that make up each print on the garments, coordinates with a booklet (also designed and written by the designer) stored inside the garment’s pocket to inspire its little wearers to dream as individuals. Here we meet the designer behind the imaginative brand to hear her unique story:

The New York Garment District

Ever wondered how the New York Garment District got its start? What happened to it and where it is heading?

In the Mid 19th century, New York City’s Garment District was built on ready to wear clothing that was mass produced and mass-marketed. The industry relied on the workings of a cheap yet skilled labor force—primarily immigrants of European Jewish and Italian descent who arrived in the United States trained in traditional tailoring.

During this time the garment industry was New York City’s largest employer, employing one hundred thousand people each year. Rapid growth was seen in twenty years when the amount of manufacturing firms increased from 562 in 1880 to over 1,800 in the 1900s.

In an effort to increase New York City’s shopping culture Fashion Row and Ladies Mile were 

5 Points to Best Communicate Your Designs to a Sewing Contractor

As a designer, it is very important your collection is well executed for a show, presentation and market week, as well as the selling floor. And to have a well-made collection, or just a single garment, it starts after your designs are finalized and it’s ready for construction.

Most fashion houses already have their team of sewers who understands the design concept and know how each garment should be constructed, with some instructions given. However, majority of young designers don’t have the same resources. When they find a sewer or factory to sew their garments, young designers would think that this person would understand their design because of years of experience the sewer has under their belt. This is actually a BIG misconception. If no instructions given, the sewer can have a garment finished in a way that you originally did not want. This mistake would cost time and money.

When you give a new design to a sewer/factory, you should think ahead about the steps they 

The Importance of Using a Professional Fit Model!

“How much does a fit model cost? Is that for one hour only? I really can’t afford that. Can we just fit on me? I can use my friend, he/she is the right size…”

This is a common response from emerging designers when discussing the fittings.

The main misconception about fit models is due to the fact that they are called models. Therefore, it’s important to understand the differences between a runway model (which is what we normally associate models with) and a fit model.

Here is a brief explanation to better understand the difference between a fit model and runway model’s job descriptions:

The Most Important Step to Get the Best Results From Your Production

This week I read a very informative article on manufacturing and production and it made me think: “What is the single most important step to get the best results from your production? “

I once had a teacher who said that if we simply do our homework and study, the test will be a breeze! And he was right, it worked for me. The same concept easily translates to fashion production.

DESIGN WITH PRODUCTION IN MIND! I know how boring and limiting this part sounds for a creative person like you, but following this motto is the single, most important step to turn your creativity and talent into a BUSINESS! If you plan your production process while you design your product and think ahead about each step, re: the logistics, the cost, the timeline, etc. your production will be easy and will have no tricky questions or surprises.

To help you with that, here are 3 tips you should follow when designing your next season: 

Why Making Samples is So Expensive?

Why Making Samples is So Expensive?

One of most asked question by young designers is: “Is this the price for only 1 sample? Why is sewing one sample so expensive?”

Lets go through the details together and i'll explain why is sample making expensive:

Making only one at a time – let’s think about baking for a second, If you’d make 1 cookie or 20 of the same type of cookies, the time and cost for either will be about the same, agree?

3 Valuable Things Any Designer Can Offer to A Sewing Contractor

3 Valuable Things Any Designer Can Offer to A Sewing Contractor

Many of you designers out there are probably going into Fall14 production & SS15 samples as we speak and trying to finalize your sewing contractor—choosing one and making it work with them.

As a start-up fashion brand with limited resources, you might be hesitant that the sewing contractor will not have your business as priority; In other words, “doing you a favor” by accepting your job. Considering your budget is probably limited and your quantities are barely make their minimums, you start to wonder: What incentives can I offer them to consider my line a valid brand and want to work with me?

My business philosophy has always been that a business interaction must make sense for both sides in order to last. It must be a win-win situation! Unfortunately, many fashion designers get too involved with their own views and business needs/deadline/pressure and end up waiting until the last minute to place orders, and then ask the contractor to rush without having all the materials and info ready, (not to mention asking for lower production price), etc. At the end of the day, this makes it not profitable and very difficult for the contractors to work with young designers.

Here are 3 valuable things that you, as a new brand with limited resources, can offer your sewing contractor to make this a win-win relationship:

How Feasible is Your Vision?

How Feasible is Your Vision?

Let's take a second to talk about the feasibility of your fashion business.

Before you jump all in to execute your vision it is really important for you to do your homework and find out how feasible your idea is.
Yes lots of times you will need the help of industry professionals which is where we can help, but even before that there is market research that you can probably can and should do on your own that will answer that question.

I thought the best way for me to address this subject will be to share an example of a general conversation that i often have with a designer on a feasibility consultation session.

Made in USA or Made Overseas

Made in USA or Made Overseas

Made in USA or Made overseas? That is a production question that every brand find itself engaged in at one point or another.  To better Illustrate the debate I chose to share a story of a brand I have been working with.

What should we do?

A couple of weeks ago i received an email from Cathy, 1 of 4 owners at NoNetz – who designs anti-chafe swimwear for boys and men. In her email she asked for my thoughts on the following: “Staying in Brooklyn, we get to decent profit in 7 years. Going overseas, we are highly profitable in 2 years. Producing overseas will cost us 75% less in labor...What should we do?"

$200K sales in first season yet almost out of business! A true story

$200K sales in first season yet almost out of business! A true story

When starting a business, the unknown is bigger than the known. Where do I find….? How do I…? What is the best….? Are normal questions to have and having the right answers, answered by the right people for your business, will make the process smoother, more effective and much less expensive.

Congratulations on starting your own brand, what now?

About 10 years ago I was hired by a designer, for the sake of this story I will call him Mark, who by then had a very successful career as a creative director for big brands (RL, Nautica), to join and help him as he was starting his own brand. He had a very clear vision as to what the product should look like and the concept of his brand (since he’s done that successfully for these other brands for nearly 20 years).

But when it came to starting his own business there were many aspects that he wasn't familiar with. While working at these bigger brands, things such as sourcing, costing, developing, producing and selling the product where not an issue, or at least not issues that he had to deal with. This time he was starting as a small business with a limited budget 

How To Get The Best Production Quality From Your Sewing Contractor?

How To Get The Best Production Quality From Your Sewing Contractor?

I was invited to answer a reader's question on Jane Hamill's blog who is my co. founder of Indie Design Association on working with a contractor and getting the best possible results from them, so i thought I'll share the answer with you all since it has a LOT of great tips for you to use especially if you are new to the process and don't have any help!

“I’m drowning in QC! What can I do?” -Bobbi, Canada

Today we answer a question from a reader who is fed up with Quality Control problems. I feel your pain, Bobbi. I’ve been there! I solicited my friend, colleague, and NYC product development guru, Boaz David, to answer Bobbi’s question. GREAT info today, check it out…